FoMoCo and Mazda Motor Corporations announced today that they will invest $350 million in their AutoAlliance Thailand joint venture to support the production of next-generation pickups. The investment will support the production of a new Mazda and Ford compact pickup that will start in mid-2011.
“The investment will support facility upgrades and supplier tooling for the production of Mazda and Ford”s next generation compact pickup trucks,” both companies said in a statement. “Once completed, this will increase Mazda and Ford”s total joint investment in the AutoAlliance Thailand facility to more than US$1.85 billion since operations began in 1995.”
“Today”s investment announcement marks another important step forward in AAT”s development as a state-of-the-art manufacturing hub,” said Toshinori Kusuhashi, president, AutoAlliance Thailand. “Through the ongoing support of the Thai government, Thailand”s automotive industry has continued to grow and become more efficient, enabling AAT to build and export world-class pickup trucks and cars. This new investment will enable us to continue to enhance the one-ton pickup”s reputation as product champion of Thailand”s automotive industry.”
The companies said that the investment will also allocate resources to training and development to ensure that AAT employees have the skills to meet the high-standard the new compact pickup truck program will require.
Is Ford and Mazda talking about the next-generation Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 when they say compact pickup? We’ll find soon enough.
– By: Stephen Calogera